When I was a kid, we ate a lot of what my father would call “wish sandwiches” with mayo. For those who didn’t grow up poor or who didn’t have fathers with Dad senses of humor, a “wish sandwich” is “two pieces of bread and you ‘wish’ something was inside.” We put mayo on ours … to be more precise, we used Miracle Whip, because it was cheaper and had that “zing” we so craved in our otherwise empty sandwiches.
That’s what Joe Biden is to our 2020 Democratic Primary: Two pieces of bread, who we wish had something to say (the Miracle Whip are the gaffes). In an article in the NYTimes over the weekend, Joe Biden basically says as much, when he’s asked why he’s running for President. It’s a question he can’t really answer beyond, “I’m running so that Donald Trump will not be elected.”
“I think it’s really, really, really important that Donald Trump not be re-elected,” Mr. Biden said, more of a rationale than answer. He then launched into a classic Biden roller derby of verbiage in which he listed all the reasons he found Mr. Trump so distasteful. He landed on a question to himself.
“Could I die happily not having heard ‘Hail to the Chief’ play for me?” the Democratic front-runner asked. “Yeah, I could,” he said. “That’s not why I’m running.”
That’s it. He’s not running to be President. He’s running so that Donald Trump won’t be President. In fact, Biden admits himself that, were Trump not running for re-election, he wouldn’t even bother.
Asked another way: Would he be doing this if a more conventional Republican (a Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush) were in the White House? “Um, I’m not sure, to be quite honest with you,” Mr. Biden said. “I hadn’t planned on running again.”
In other words, he’s running because he believes he’s the only guy who can beat Trump, which is insulting, tbh, to the rest of the Democratic field, and also a little arrogant. The truth is, he can win. I think at this point, if Joe Biden crapped his pants at the next debate, he’d still beat Donald Trump in 2020 because independents and old centrist will vote for him enthusiastically and the rest of the Democrats would vote for a wish sandwich with mayo over a crap sandwich.
But you know what? There’s a delicious club sandwich with bacon out there by the name of Elizabeth Warren who could also win. Bernie Sanders — a Reuben with sauerkraut — could easily win, as well — the polls have said as much. Pete Buttigieg — a plain ham-and-cheese sandwich with spicy pickle — could probably win, as well as Kamala Harris, the pulled pork sandwich with coleslaw of the 2020 field. Beto — two pieces of toast that performatively curses after mass shootings — could also win. (Andrew Yang doesn’t get to be a sandwich, because Andrew Yang would give all the sandwiches away and eat a Kind bar while congratulating himself for solving all the world’s problems).
So, the question I have is this: If Biden is only running to prevent Donald Trump from being reelected, and if the polls began to show that Warren or Sanders could resoundingly defeat Trump, would Biden drop out? Or is this really not about beating Trump, and more about a 41-year obsession Biden has had with living in the White House?